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Blade (1998) Poster

(1998)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (3)  | Director Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (13)
David S. Goyer explained in the DVD commentary that the scene where Karen touches Blade's sword was originally longer as she went on to discover a weird, hybrid infant of some kind floating in a tank. It came with a jump scare, and Goyer says "I think it would have scared the living shit out of the audience, but New Line felt it was just too horrible."
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When David S. Goyer first pitched the idea of doing a Blade movie, the executives of New Line felt there were only three actors who could possibly do the role: Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington and Laurence Fishburne, but in Goyer's mind, Snipes was always the perfect choice for the character of Blade.
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Wesley Snipes was interested in doing a movie adaptation of the Black Panther comics when he was offered the project. He said that he was unfamiliar with the Blade comics, seeing more of a connection to the blaxploitation heroes of the 1970s. "I just approached him as this really cool character where I'd get to do martial arts and wear a leather suit," he said.
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In updating the vampire lore, Stephen Norrington and David S. Goyer decided that crosses wouldn't work against vampires, citing "What if a vampire was Jewish? Why would a cross work against him?"
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Kris Kristofferson's character, Whistler, was created for Blade's cameo on Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994). He was liked so much by Marvel's CEO, that he was adopted into the Marvel universe.
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Blade's car is a 1968 Dodge Charger with various modifications.
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The scene where Quinn (Donal Logue) attacks Karen in the hospital corridor features lots of screaming, but they knew something was wrong when Logue started yelling too. During the tussle, he fell face first onto the hard floor and completely dislodged his jaw. He had broken it in an accident years prior, and opening his mouth too wide and too fast can unhinge it. They were filming in an abandoned hospital but had to rush to a real one, "but I've got this guy who's dressed as a third-degree burn victim, essentially naked, running in with his jaw hanging down." The room cleared out pretty fast.
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In the scene where Blade is chased to the subway, and the subway train is passing by, all the passengers are cardboard cutouts with the special FX man among them.
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Jet Li was offered the part of Deacon Frost but opted to do Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) instead.
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Stan Lee originally had a cameo that was ultimately cut from the film. He played one of the cops that came into the blood club during the aftermath and discover Quinn's body on fire.
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According to Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff on the commentary Snipes had thoughts on the scene where Blade and Deacon Frost (Dorff) face off during the day on a busy street. "The issue with this scene" involved scheduling realities and Norrington's uncertainty as to what he wanted. It was one of Dorff's first day's, "and the guy hadn't had the chance to figure out what his character was let alone play the dynamics of the scene." Snipes tried to help, which "was very delicate," and it paid off. He told Dorff "we need more," and it finally clicked resulting in a powerful interaction between the two. Stephen Dorff doesn't disagree, but he does add that it was an interesting day in part because people like David Fincher were visiting the set. He had also been rehearsing for hours and felt his performance was growing stale, so when Snipes stopped to watch playback and to remind Dorff that he's a producer and therefore has more say on the film the two grew antagonistic. "The most tense situations on a movie tend to make the best movies."
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Karen was originally going to be played by a white actress, but Wesley Snipes encouraged them to cast a black actress.
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(at around 28 mins) When Karen first meets Whistler, Blade can be seen holding a map of New Orleans. This not only implies the city they are in, it is an homage to the comic books; many stories in the Blade series occur in New Orleans.
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The scene where Karen and Deacon are talking about the cure for vampirism initially ran a bit longer and answered the question of how the vampires would feed if everybody was turned into a vampire. They would keep some humans alive in giant blood bags to harvest them. The bags can still be seen in a doorway during the scene, and later played an integral part of the plot in Blade: Trinity (2004). It was also the underlying plot structure for the movie Daybreakers (2009).
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The success of this film, especially since it followed the derided Batman & Robin (1997), is often considered the beginning of the rise of the superhero genre to become a dominant one in mainstream film.
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(at around 1h 45 mins) While discussing the character of Deacon Frost, Wesley Snipes described him as the kind of guy who'd ice-skate uphill. Stephen Norrington and David S. Goyer loved the phrase so much they worked it into the film.
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The original ending had Frost becoming La Magra and unleashing the Blood Tide, which washes over the city and turns everyone it touches into vampires. The film ended with the vampires winning, having caused the vampire apocalypse. It was set up in a proposed sequel, Blade and Karen would travel around hitting and destroying vampire food storage areas. The filmmakers didn't know if there would be a sequel, so it was changed.
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Wesley Snipes became attached to the project because he was in discussions with Marvel Comics to play the Black Panther. The movie adaptation Black Panther (2018) was released 19½ years later as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but without his involvement.
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(at around 51 mins) Eboni Adams, who is credited as the 'Martial Arts Kid', was a national competitor coming in under grandmaster Billy Blanks (Tae-Bo inventor and star of several films such as Balance of Power (1996)) and had to be tracked down according to Wesley Snipes in the Commentary. They have a fight in the library which was a technique to surprise the audience with an unlikely adversary to Blade.
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In the original Marvel comics storyline, the character Blade was actually an Englishman - not an American.
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Stephen Norrington stated that the cause of Pearl's obese size was the creature gaining a cannibalistic lust for infants and children as he loves to eat their hearts.
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Wesley Snipes was a fan of Hong Kong martial arts films and wanted the film to have that kind of action.
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Pearl was so large that a set had to be built around him. It was about seven hundred pounds of latex skin that had to be moved with a forklift.
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(at around 1h 45 mins) When Blade is first engaging Frost, he is seen charging up the ramp with his ninjato out and away from him. This is the correct way to run with any sharp instruments to prevent accidental death by impalement if said instruments are dropped while running.
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Blade's sunglasses are 'Black Flys'. The model is called 'Micro Fly' in matte black.
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A great many handheld shots were accomplished with a special anamorphic-lens camera that also had single-unit sound - the only one of its kind in the world.
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The blobulous vampire Pearl took four people to perform -- one at the head, one at each arm, and one operating the feet. He's surrounded by used blood bags and debris, but originally they wanted dead children scattered around as well seeing as Pearl was too big to move around easily and would need easy prey.
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(at around 1h 12 mins) The hostage scene features a bullet-dodging moment similar to (but prior to) The Matrix (1999).
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Quinn originally had a much smaller role, but Donal Logue was so funny onset that his character was expanded and he was allowed to ad-lib a good portion of his dialogue.
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"La Magra" is Spanish and Italian for "the thin one", and is in the female gender.
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Deacon Frost is reimagined as a more Generation X type of character. His comic book counterpart was an older, German accented, white haired gentleman that hailed from 1868. Blade himself is also younger, having been born in 1967, instead of 1929.
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Stephen Dorff wasn't a fan of commercial movies, in particularly comic book movies, but Stephen Norrington convinced him to take the role of Deacon Frost.
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In the film, Whistler can read the ancient Vampire Language. We see this when he translates the piece of paper taken by Blade from the archive room. However in the script, Whistler cannot understand the language and Blade goes to a Voodoo priestess to get a translation.
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Michael Morbius was planned to be used as the main antagonist in a eventual sequel, but the idea was dropped out due to the fact the character's rights belong to Spider-man universe, and their movie license were property of Sony at the time. The vampire at the rooftop in the alternate ending of the movie is Morbius.
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In 2004, screenwriter David S. Goyer revealed to MovieWeb a little known fact that David Fincher got involved with Blade after Se7en (1995) and admits that he helped Goyer develop the script. He was actually going to direct until for unknown reasons he didn't end up doing it.
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Blade's main weapon is a modified Mac-11, he also uses a Benelli M3 super 90 with a pistol grip which can fire silver stakes or normal ammunition.
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David S. Goyer wrote the part of Blade with Wesley Snipes in mind.
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Mark Wahlberg was considered for the role of Deacon Frost.
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Skeet Ulrich lobbied hard for the role of Deacon Frost.
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The British Dance group The Prodigy were approached to do the score and soundtrack for the film, but they turned down the offer due to other work commitments
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It was Wesley Snipes' idea that the entrance to Pearl's lair be through a walk-in freezer.
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(at around 46 mins) When Krieger is killed by Frost, the movie that is playing on the television is another New Line Cinema movie: Mortal Kombat (1995).
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When shown on broadcast TV, the scenes of the panty-flashing Japanese schoolgirls in the club is often cut or altered to hide them.
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UCLA Linguistics professor Victoria Fromkin was hired to design a vampire language after Fromkin was creator of the Paku's language from the TV series Land of the Lost (1974), despite the fact that vampire's language was finally used for two scenes: when a vampire elder berates Frost, and when Pearl yells about the Blood God (that later Blade repeats Frost during their meeting in the city park). Although it sounds like Slavic or Hungarian to hint its Eastern-European origins as a reference for Transylvania, Fromkin intermixed vaguely Russian and Czech to create vampire's language.
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Blade first appeared in the comic The Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973).
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Released by New Line Cinema, whose parent company, Warner Bros., also owns Marvel's rival DC.
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Stephen Dorff modelled Frost on several other villains, especially Jack Nicholson's Joker in Batman (1989).
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[Patrick McGoohan was the first choice to play Whistler, as Stephen Norrington was a fan of The Prisoner (1967).
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(at around 26 mins) When Whistler first introduces himself to Karen he says his first name is Abraham. Bram Stoker, who's first full name is Abraham wrote the original Dracula novel. He even used the name for one of his leading characters a.k.a Abraham Van Helsing.
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In a sense, the movie led to the boom of Marvel Comics-based movies. Though later overshadowed by the 2000's more successful X-Men (2000) and Spider-Man (2002), Blade was the first Marvel movie to be a bona fide financial and critical success (Men in Black (1997) came out first but technically, it was more a property bought by Marvel than made by Marvel). And granted, some productions such as the aforementioned Spider-Man had long been gestating, but the movie's success proved that Marvel characters could headline their own movies. Additionally, Blade himself was not as well-known prior to the movie's release, but still made for a successful property. In addition to their A-list stars, Marvel and DC have subsequently looked at other lesser-known characters for possible movies. And despite Batman & Robin (1997) being basically a Genre-Killer the year before, Blade proved comic book movies still had it. Of course, the general public probably wasn't really aware that Blade was a comic book character originally, and thought it was just a cool Vampire Hunter, especially since Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) premiered a year before. Though on the flip side, it was thanks to cartoon, Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994) where Blade made his first animated appearance and was still playing at the time, that likewise go interest up among cartoon goers.
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The final fight scene sees Blade attack Frost, only for him to "brush off" the effort before exclaiming '...My Turn!' and retaliating. This is very similar (and most likely based on/an homage) to a fight scene in the vampire classic 'The Lost Boys', where the same happens between the "hero" and vampire villain
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A deleted conversation from the script explained how Blade's sword originally belonged to Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) who himself was part of a long line of vampire hunters.
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The infamous line of Blade's -- "Some motherfuckers always trying to ice skate uphill." -- was an offhand comment by Snipes at an early story meeting. David S. Goyer loved the line so much and decided immediately that they should use it.
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Abraham Whistler may be based on "Bible John Carik", a character who was introduced in the Marvel comics for Blade's first solo series in 1994. Both are white haired, bearded, unkempt older men who are learned veterans at supernatural/vampire hunting and supply Blade with his weapons.
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LL Cool J was originally considered for the part of Blade.
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Arly Jover was a model with very limited acting experience. Stephen Norrington felt she had the right sex appeal.
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This is the second of two vampire movies Tim Guinee starred in in 1998, the first being John Carpenter's Vampires which was released a month prior in July.
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In the commentary, David S. Goyer says that Stephen Norrington called him to inform him that they needed to get together to collaborate on the film. Upon meeting Goyer, Norrington began taunting Goyer about how "tattoos aren't tough." Norrington then began flaunting his various piercings and deriding Goyer. Goyer concludes by stating "...that's Norrington, in a nutshell."
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It is alleged that at one point, New Line considered making the film into an action comedy horror film. But David S. Goyer convinced New Line to nix the idea.
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Stephen Norrington and David S. Goyer called the scene between Karen and Curtis "the Melrose Place (1992) segment", placing a dull romantic segment in to lull the audience into a false sense of security. The studio wanted to cut the scene, but the creators fought for it. It got one of the strongest reactions at a test screening and it stayed in.
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Years after this movie Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan co-starred as a couple in the TV movie Disappearing Acts (2000).
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Pearl was originally designed as an androgynous Japanese man.
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"I've found that American action films rely more on spectacle," says Wesley Snipes, "but action films from other countries don't do it that way." He adds that international action is often embedded into "the emotional state and intent of the character."
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The Moscow-set postscript originally featured Whistler as the vampire attempting to kill the woman before being interrupted by Blade.
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Blade's sword lacks a guard, or tsuba. Which makes it impractical for swordfighting.
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Although she's credited as Mercury, Arly Jover never is called by her name throughout the movie.
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Even though he plays her son, Wesley Snipes (Blade) is actually 9 years older than Sanaa Lathan (Vanessa Brooks).
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Wesley Snipes can't stop laughing at the scene where Blade tries to help a dying Whistler by touching his extremely bloodied body with a small piece of gauze.
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At 9 mins.) Blade spins and leaps onto a ledge, but it was a tricky move. They shot nearly ten takes, but each time his body bounced on the wall and he missed catching the thin ledge. They resolved the issue by having Snipes' stunt double stick the landing.
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Stephen Norrington wanted Kris Kristofferson for the role as he was "the cool grandfather, grungy type of fighting, jolly type of a guy." David Goyer actually wrote the character, though, with Samuel Fuller in mind.
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David S. Goyer says screenwriters typically find their strengths in dialogue or structure, and he thinks he's best with the latter. "I think my dialogue's okay, but in an action movie structure is absolutely king." He adds that he wishes he had cut more dialogue from the film.
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David Fincher was attached to direct the film at one point and worked with David Goyer on a draft of the script. One of the bits of wisdom he imparted to the writer was that "on the road to enlightenment, you have to kill your mother, kill your father, and kill Buddha." Goyer applies that here for Blade's road back towards his humanity.
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Stephen Norrington said that the film as "an ode to Sam Peckinpah" and at it's heart, it was a western.
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In 2015, a new Blade ongoing was announced as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch, to be written by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Grayson) and drawn by Logan Faerber, and would have featured Blade's daughter. It was cancelled when Seeley left the project, feeling that it would be yet another series featuring a Black lead written with a White creative team.
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David Goyer and director Stephen Norrington wanted to make it clear from the opening scenes that this wasn't going to be a "particularly gothic" vampire tale.
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A line of dialogue was dropped from the script featuring Blade (Snipes) saying that he remembers being born, "literally being cut from his mother's womb." It's his origin story and the obvious beginning of his hatred for the vampires.
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According to production designer Kirk M. Petruccelli, it was made clear by Stephen Norrington early on that he wanted to see a lot of "hero" shots of Blade "which meant we were going to be seeing a lot of ceilings."
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There's no subway train in the entirety of the subway sequence. Outside of CG.
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Deacon's end was changed and revamped (you're welcome) from draft to draft, but it eventually came back around to what Goyer had written in his first draft. One ending that was proposed involved the vampires' contraption working and leading to a vampire apocalypse of them taking over the planet. The sequel would have then taken a Mad Max-like tone as Blade and others bring the fight to them across an apocalyptic wasteland. Another involved Deacon being turned into vortex of CG blood -- the vampire god -- but preview audiences were uninterested in watching Blade fight against an animated squiggle.
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Bruce Payne was considered for the role of Deacon Frost.
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(at around 11 mins) Karen remarks that Quinn's red blood cells are "biconvex" meanwhile the microscope's monitor displays regular biconcave red blood cells, so the audience can recognize them.
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David Goyer and Stephen Norrington had some battles with New Line Cinema over Karen's (N'Bushe Wright) relationship with Curtis (Tim Guinee). The filmmakers wanted to keep the conversation going a little too long to the point that viewers are bored with these two talking about themselves, "and that's when the vampire" rises. The studio kept requesting they trim it all down as it "sounds like Melrose Place."
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Third time Udo Kier played a vampire on screen.
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Traci Lords was a late addition to the film and ended up being "an epiphany" to the filmmakers. "She was exactly right for the role. It really sets up this world and how arrogant and sexy, and she embodied all of that." Her boyfriend at the time plays the large guard at the entrance to the rave.
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"I really don't like my performance in this scene," says Wesley Snipes about the combustive conversation with Karen after she's learned of his origin. Stephen Norrington wanted Blade to get angry with her questions, but Snipes feels it's forced and is evident in his performance. "He can say exactly the same thing and be just as cold and just as clear without being angry."
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The ancient parchments hanging in the vampire archives cost five bucks each as they're just Xerox paper with artwork that were then aged artificially.
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(at around 1h 7 mins) Frost tells Blade that he has all of their strength and none of their weakness's, which is not true, as Blade still has a vampires thirst for blood. Although Frost doesn't see that as a weakness.
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(at around 46 mins) When Krieger is talking with Frost attempting to excuse himself after to be captured by Blade, Frost is seen walking briefly at the side of a teen black girl with silver jacket and black pants sit down on the ground looking them. This is the same girl that at around 51 mins meets Blade in Pearl's library, running by it to trap Blade.
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Blade was born in 1967, in real life Wesley Snipes was born in 1962.
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"I don't really like commercial movies," says Stephen Dorff, but the script and filmmaker interested him. "I didn't want to do a silly comic book movie." He then goes on to say he wanted to do a movie that would "reach more people" before name-dropping the high-brow talents he worked with the year before including Jack Nicholson and Harvey Keitel.
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Blade arrived in the comics around the mid 70s suggesting his mother was bitten in the 40s or 50s, but they updated it for the film.
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Cameo 

Henry Kingi: (at around 42 mins) stuntman, as Kenji the bartender.
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Jeff Imada: (at around 52 mins) Martial artist/stuntman has a cameo at the vampire archives where he and several other familiars incapacitate Blade.
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Levani: (at around 1h 50 mins) Russian vampire at the end of the movie.
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Director Cameo 

Stephen Norrington: (at around 40 mins) During the chase with Officer Krieger, the vampire on the side of the road biting the girl's neck. In the alternate ending on the DVD, the blue figure in the black coat on the roof is Norrington again, as an unnamed vampire.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The first cut of the film which was 140 minutes long had a disastrous test screening with audiences, and heavy edits and re-shoots were implemented which delayed the release date more than half a year. The most significant change was the addition of the final sword fight between Blade and Deacon Frost, which did not exist in the original version of the movie.
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(at around 45 mins) When the bed opens up and reveals Vanessa (Sanaa Lathan), the sound effect used is lifted from Aliens (1986) (the scene where Ripley & Co. wake up on the Sulaco).
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In the ending as it was originally planned, Frost turned into La Magra and became a large swirling mass of blood instead of keeping his humanoid form. This was scrapped because test audiences loved the Blade/Frost fight, but lost interest as soon as Stephen Dorff turned into a faceless gelatinous blob. The special effects crew also couldn't get the visual effects to look right, so the scene was re-shot to keep Dorff in the fight until the end. The abandoned ending can be seen as a special feature on the DVD.
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In an earlier draft, Blade killed Whistler. In the film, his fate is uncertain. In one version of the ending, it's Whistler who's the vampire in Moscow.
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Blade's real name is Eric Brooks. He is referred to as 'Eric' towards the end of the film, and his mother's driver's license says Vanessa Brooks of Bradenton, Florida.
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Body count: 88
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In the comics, Blade's mother was a prostitute named Tara Brooks, and was killed by Deacon Frost during Eric's birth. She never becomes a vampire.
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(at around 46 mins) When Blade and Karen Jenson enter in Pearl's library, Karen questions him about the old papyrus hung in glass chambers, with he answering that it's Book of Erebus, Holy Bible for vampires. In Greek Mythology, Erebus is the primordial god of darkness and shadow.
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(at around 47 mins) When Frost kills Krieger, the scene at the pool party ends, then the camera focus in a vampire rubber bat toy. The bat toy is part of a Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994) line of action figures called "Vampire Wars", which includes an action figure of Blade. The vampire bat in the scene was a Spiderman transformed into a vampire monster action figure.
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Blade is revealed to be the key to resurrecting La Magra, because his blood as a Daywalker is necessary to transforming Frost into the Blood God. Since Frost is revealed to be the vampire who essentially created Blade because he bit Vanessa when she was pregnant with him, it reveals that Frost had been planning to resurrect La Magra for years before the events of the film.
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If you are watching on a disc copy and have the feature 'La Magra', go to it as chapter 30 of the film starts with a guard alerting Frost there is an intruder. Shortly into the feature, there is a deleted scene from precisely that point in the film explaining what the vampires will do if Frost succeeds in his plan of world domination of vampires. It also indicates Frost's motivations, and the point being made was later explained in a scene in Blade Trinity.
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Jenya Lano: (at around 1h 50 mins) the Russian woman at the end of the movie.
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It is explained quite early on that Vampires in the Blade trilogy don't have any reactions to Religious Icons like the Crucifix nor any reaction to Running Water, thus making it seem like that the film is science-fiction based in regards to the Vampire Myth. However, there is a bit of magic in the Blade Trilogy, since Frost's whole plan is to use a ritual to transform himself into La Magra.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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